Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mr Bowditch lives in colonial America, is a math whiz, and wants to go to Harvard. But due to family hardship he is indentured as a servant in a shipyard for 9 nine years. He "carries on" and prospers, learning Latin, French besides doing the books for his employer. He becomes a valued crew member, with his ship knowledge and navigation expertise, and interpreter abilities. His voyages excite the reader, while the news from home breaks the heart several times.
Nathaniel persistently teaches and trains others in his craft, besides filling notebooks with his own thoughts, rising them above their current station, out of trouble, and into better prospects. His pursuit of excellence and truth leads him to rise above the standards of the day, and his superiors respect him for it, recognize the value of his work (after some time), and call on him to "carry on."
This is an edifying tale of how diligence in your vocation, and persistence in hardship, pay off in the end. While this is meant for younger readers, the 17-21 year old young man seeking his way in the world would profit by it.
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